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By His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
For World Environment Day
(June 5, 2010)
Inasmuch as, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we have long been concerned about problems related to the preservation of the natural environment, we have ascertained that the fundamental cause of the abuse and destruction of the world’s natural resources is greed and the constant tendency toward unrestrained wealth by citizens in so-called “developed” nations.
The holy Fathers of our Church have taught and lived the words of St. Paul, according to which “if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these” (1 Tim. 6.8), adhering at the same time to the prayer of Solomon: “Grant me neither wealth nor poverty, but simply provide for me what is necessary for sufficiency.” (Prov. 30:8) Everything beyond this, as St. Basil the Great instructs, “borders on forbidden ostentation.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The official visit to the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis of Constantinople, traditionally, the first in honour amongst the Orthodox episcopate, will strengthen intra-Orthodox cooperation and, perhaps, advance the cause of a long-awaited Pan-Orthodox Synod, according to our source in the Moscow Patriarchate. On Saturday, the head of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate will arrive in Moscow at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, and will spend more than a week in Russia. He will visit the Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra, which is considered the spiritual centre of Russian Orthodoxy, Transfiguration Monastery in Valaam monastery, which is often called a “Northern Athos”, and religious sites in St Petersburg.
A ruling of the European Commission for Democracy says in fact that the title «ecumenical» Patriarchate of Constantinople is universally recognized and it does not understand the insistence of Turkish authorities in denying a historically established fact. Europe’s warning useful to Erdogan’s in his battle to reform the constitution.
Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The European Commission for Democracy has made a ruling urging Turkey to recognize as from time immemorial the entire international community has done, the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its historical role as it was already defined the sixth century. In the same ruling the legal status of all religious minorities in Turkey is recognized.
The committee, the so-called Venice committee, named after the lagoon city where it gathered the day before yesterday, is part of the Council of Europe, which brings together 47 states, including Turkey.
The Turkish authorities, since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, have refused to recognize the religious status of the See of Constantinople, considering it simply as a single diocese of the Orthodox community and the recognizing the Patriarch of Constantinople the sole function of the pastor of his community.
Prot. No. 213
By God’s Grace
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Fullness of the Church,
Grace and Peace
From our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Our most holy Orthodox Church today commemorates its own feast day, and – from this historical and martyric See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – the Mother Church of Constantinople directs its blessing, love and concern to all of its faithful and dedicated spiritual children throughout the world, inviting them to concelebrate in prayer.
Life in the patriarchate of the supreme heads of the Orthodox Church in Istanbul was never easy during the past few decades, especially with the closing of the Halki Seminary in Heybeliada in 1971.
The ecumenical Greek patriarch is the leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox, who live in Greece, the Balkan countries and Russia.
After the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church is the most influential, and presently, although its patriarch lives abased in his shell, under the thumb of the Republic of Turkey, he still remains rich with the church’s past glory going back 1,700 years.
By Robert Ellis
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, who is the spiritual head of 300 million Orthodox Christians round the world, created a stir recently with an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes”. According to the Patriarch Orthodox Christians are treated as second-class citizens in Turkey and sometimes he feels “crucified”.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu regarded the comment as “an undesired slip of the tongue” and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc dismissed the criticism as “unacceptable”. But despite the furore the interview has once again shed light on Turkey’s treatment of minorities.